“We need to cook cool meals and using the oven is completely forbidden,” wrote a reader named Esmeralda in Madrid in an email last week. She’s been making creamy salmorejo, a southern Spanish soup related to gazpacho from Córdoba, which gets even hotter than Madrid, according to her.
However, I have made the gazpacho recipe below, which has been a longtime and passionate favourite of the New York Times Cooking staff. On a hot day, just hearing the word “gazpacho” soothes the soul.
First and Foremost, The Best Gazpacho
“Best” is a bold claim in a recipe title, but this gazpacho is actually worthy of the accolade. It’s a recipe Julia Moskin picked up while reporting in Seville, Spain, and it’s an olive oil-and-tomato-and-green-pepper-and-garlic concoction. Don’t be stingy with the oil, please? As an early-dinner option, the salad and the bread are substantial but light.
2. Shrimp and Shrimp Spaghetti.
Spaghetti al limone is a dish that is both light and rich at the same time (the lemon flavour that suffuses it). Instead of cream, Lidey Heuck uses butter and Parmesan cheese to make her version of the Italian classic rich and creamy. I’d prefer to eat this at the beach, but I’ll settle for my dining room table for now.
In The Third Place, Mahi Ba Somagh (Sumac Roasted Fish)
Naz Deravian’s sumac and turmeric-based Iranian fish dish is a cinch to make, requiring only oranges and limes. Whole fish that has been butterflied is required for this recipe (or ask a fishmonger to prepare for you). In the event of an emergency, a bland fillet would do just fine as a stand-in.
Dry-Brined Chicken Breasts
Eric Kim’s brining method has transformed the humble chicken breast. It goes well with just about anything, whether it’s a salad or grains. The whole peppercorns can be substituted with some ground pepper instead of a spice grinder (or a mortar and pestle) if you don’t have one.